Tips & Techniques for Knitting theknittycat's Peeps and Other Toys

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hello Kitty in Kimono - Crafty Christmas 2010


Hello Kitty in Kimono for Jennea - from my Crafty Christmas 2010

I put in a sneak peek of Hello Kitty in my last post (for New Year's Eve).
A very simple animation. :o)  But this post will give you the full intro.

When I was getting my HK photos ready to upload to my photostream on flickr, I noticed that if I put a few of them together, it made her move, and even bow (just a happy accident) ... I couldn't resist! I just had to animate her. ;o)

Isn't that FUN?!  I love animated gifs!  :o)

Hello Kitty in Kimono for Jennea
(holding still for her closeup)

a better view of her sleeves, and from the back

How to Poorly Plan Christmas Crafts
HK in Kimono is one of the multitude of projects that, two months ago, I suddenly, and unexpectedly, found that I needed to make for Christmas.   Since time was very short, I very cleverly designed projects that were much larger and more involved than my usual ones!  arrrgh!  And I'm not a speedy peepmaker!

size of HK in Kimono compared to
my first HK for Nicole

 (from my first year of peepmaking, 2007) 

So after making this "brilliant" plan and working like a madwoman for weeks, nearing the deadline I realized that the peep I had been working on for a good portion of that time (several weeks) turned out to be inappropriately delicate for her intended recipient, our lively, and very young niece, Mia.   So approaching the last minute, I had to start all over with another project for her!  (you'll be introduced to her replacement, Betty the Baby Bot in another post).  It happens that I totally LOVED what I wound up making for her (and so did she), but it would have been much more fun to have made it more leisurely.

It's been very challenging, but, working night and day, I got MOST of the projects done.  (yeah. I do NOT recommend crafting this way - made me really sick)  My Dear Hub's Piglet got postponed till after, and so did the Meowth for our wonderful nephew, who sweetly offered to let me make his after Christmas, so I wouldn't be so pressured.  :o)  Wasn't that a lovely Christmas gift?  I made him a simple thing (the pokemon character, Electrode - a red and white ball with a face) to tide him over till I make Meowth, and so he'd have something to open from us on Christmas Day, and now I'm off to make a tiny Meowth!  ;o)  And finish Piglet... and make my Hub yet another Lambie!!  He LOVES those lambies!  heh heh

Peeking at Peeps
Here's a peek at the projects I made for Christmas (all made in 2 months - there were four more, but those had already been sent to Scotland when I took this photo).  Please forgive the poor quality of the photo. I was in such a hurry at that point that I'm just grateful to have any pics at all!  Their individual photos are better, and I'll be sharing those in future posts.

 a wee peek of the group on the couch, waiting to be packaged up for gift giving
- toys for the kids and ornaments and earrings for the adults.

(yes, I did a lovely job of composing.   I especially love the disordered mass of ornaments.   ick.)

The gifts consisted of

5 large peeps:
Betty Baby Bot, Lizabeth Cuddle Lambie, Rosalie Flying Piglet, HK in Kimono, and Maria Teresa, the large doll that Baby Bot was replacing (who still needs her hair sewn on before she becomes a gift).

4 medium peeps
to Scotland (not in photo)
Elmo (who was actually finished in October), Dorothy Goldfish, Goldfish "Bowl", and Mirabelle Mousie

3 small peeps:
Terence the Terrapin, a Christmas tree with Santa sack, and the Blue Guy from the HTC cell phone commercials (my Hub loved those commercials, and that little guy!)

and 13 ornaments for the adults
No, your eyes don't deceive you. There are only 9 ornaments in that photo. I made 4 more after I took that pic.  (They look a lot prettier when they're not mushed up in a mass!  heh heh)

Plus 4 pairs of crystal earrings.


And now some background about Hello Kitty in Kimono!  Finally!  :o)

My Inspiration
I was inspired to make this peep when I saw this adorable amigurumi Kimono Kitty
from a Kimono Kitty pattern written by kandjdolls. (brilliant designers, by the way!).

The Kimono Kitty was crocheted, and of course I'd be knitting mine, but that's not a problem since I was only using the photo as inspiration.  (as most of you know, I knit everything freehand, without patterns.)

Although flawed, I'm quite pleased at how HK in Kimono turned out.  I made her in Jennea's favorite color, purple!  And Jennea, a big HK fan, loved her!  :o)  Yay!!  If I'd had more time I'd have liked to make an accessory for her. I was thinking that a parasol would be super cute!  So if I ever have some spare time for it ... Yeah. Sure. Heh heh

Eyes and How Not to Make Them
I had some trouble making HK's eyes satisfactorily, and have discovered that Lion Brand Microspun is NOT a good choice for knotted yarn eyes (see my yarn knot eyes tutorial).  Since it’s so loosely spun, the knots don’t cohere into a “fused” ball, but separate. Soooo… back to the drawing board.

Since her eyes are oval and I didn't have any glass eyes in that shape, I resorted to a new method that, recently, I’ve been utilizing on occasion - flattened knitted ball eyes. I made a pair with Red Heart Lustersheen (a very light sport or fingering weight yarn), and those worked just fine. This is the first time I’ve made oval ones instead of round ones, but it wasn’t a problem. :o)

One more thing to add before I close...

No Pattern Available but Hints on How to Make Her
Several people have already asked me for a pattern for this knit Kimono Kitty, but I made no notes at all while knitting her (I was in too much of a hurry to stop and write what I was doing), and I won't be writing anything up for her.  But she is made up of very simple shapes;

Two tubes for her legs, a tapered tube for her body and kimono, and wide flattened tubes for her sleeves (stuffing a narrow tube shape at one end of each sleeve for her arms), with white balls on the ends for paws (or you could make whole white arm tubes and tuck them into one side of each sleeve). And a rounded 3D rectangle for her head - kind of a shallow box shape.  It should really be a bit more squared than I made it - similar width to height, I was so focused on not making it round that I made it a bit wider than I should have, but I still love her.  :o)  And rounded triangles for ears.

That, of course isn't quite the way I made her since I hate to sew bits together. Except for her arms, she's all one piece, and her paws are one piece with her arms.

More Posts?
I'm really hoping to make time to post more often, and get caught up on sharing my backlog of finished peeps. They feel very neglected not to have had their day on the blog!  They will most likely be posted as the whim takes me, and not in chronological order, but that doesn't really matter anyway, does it.

We hope that you all had a lovely holiday (I hope you planned your crafty gifts better than I did!!). 
We wish you the happiest new year ever!  :o)

theknittingkitty for theknittycat


  1. Hi! How do you make the cookie monster doll? Where is the pattern? Btw I love all of your dolls!

  2. Thanks so much for the lovely comment. :o) I'm so pleased you like them! All of my patterns can be accessed from the "Patterns and Tutorials" link at the top of the page. Just click on that and you'll get to the page with all the pattern links.

  3. Oh my! She is sooooo cute! I adore Hello Kitty and you've captured her so well. I love the purple kimono too. Purple is my favourite colour. :) I'm sure the recipient loved her.

    1. Thank you so much for that very nice compliment, Kawaii Jen! I'm so pleased you enjoyed her! :o) My hub and I really loved how she turned out and it wasn't at all easy to let her go. But yes, our giftee did indeed love her and we were all happy!

      If you love Hello Kitty, please take a look at Lucy's Fuzzy Hello Kitty here:
      Aso findable by clicking on the Hello Kitty tag below. :o)